|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it.
Verse 13. - Therefore my people are gone into captivity. "Are gone" or "have gone" is "the perfect of prophetic certainty" (Cheyne). The prophet sees the captivity as a thing that had already taken place. It as an appropriate punishment for drunkenness and revelry to be carried off into servitude, and in that condition to suffer, as slaves so often did, hunger and thirst. Because they have no knowledge; or, unawares, without foreseeing it (so Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Ewald, Delitzsch, Cheyne). Their honorable men; literally, their glory, for "their glorious ones" - the abstract for the concrete. Are famished; literally, sons of famine; i.e. "starvelings." Their multitude; or, their noisy crowd (Kay) - the "throng of voluptuaries" who frequented the great banquets of vers. 11, 12.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore my people are gone into captivity,.... Or rather, as Kimchi explains it, "shall go into captivity"; the past for the future; for this cannot be understood even of the captivity of the ten tribes, for they were not carried captive until the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, 2 Kings 17:6 whereas this prophecy was delivered out many years before, even in the time of Uzziah, as is manifest from the following chapter, Isaiah 6:1 and much less it cannot design the captivity of Judah, but respects the captivity by the Romans, in future time.
Because they have no knowledge; of the work of the Lord, and the operations of his hands; the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "because they knew not the Lord", the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, the true Messiah; they knew not his person, office, grace, and Gospel; they did not own and acknowledge him, but despised and rejected him; their ignorance was affected and voluntary; they had the means of knowledge, but did not make use of them; they would not know him, they would not attend to the strong and clear evidence of his being the Messiah, which prophecies, miracles, and his doctrines, gave of him; the things belonging to their peace they knew not, these were righteously hid from them, and hence destruction came upon them, Luke 19:42 the words may be rendered in connection with the former, "therefore my people shall go into captivity without knowledge" (b), unawares, unthought of, and unexpected; and the Jews, to the last; did not think their city would be taken, but that in some way of other salvation and deliverance would be wrought for them:
and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst; or "shall be"; this is expressive of a famine of bread and water, which all, both high and low, prince and people, should be affected with; see Isaiah 3:1 and was true not only when Jerusalem was besieged by the Chaldeans, Jeremiah 52:6, Jeremiah 5:10 but when it was besieged by the Romans, in which the rich suffered as well as the poor; and was so great, that even women ate their own children, as Josephus (c) relates: this is threatened as a punishment of their rioting and drunkenness, Isaiah 5:11.
(b) "idcirco exsulat populus meus absque scientia", Cocceius; so Montanus. (c) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 10. sect. 2. 3. & 12. 3. & 6. 3, sect. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. are gone—The prophet sees the future as if it were before his eyes.
no knowledge—because of their foolish recklessness (Isa 5:12; Isa 1:3; Ho 4:6; Lu 19:44).
famished—awful contrast to their luxurious feasts (Isa 5:11, 12).
multitude—plebeians in contradistinction to the "honorable men," or nobles.
thirst—(Ps 107:4, 5). Contrast to their drinking (Isa 5:11). In their deportation and exile, they shall hunger and thirst.
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